Home > Legal Opinions tagged Ofsted

  • coasting schools – the net tightens

    Richard Freeth

    Further details are emerging about how far the definition of coasting schools will reach. In a speech by the PM yesterday, it emerged that a school’s Ofsted rating will not be the sole measure of what it means to be a coasting school. It appears that the progress of pupils in a school over time […]

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  • will teaching British values stop pupils going to Syria?

    Hayley Roberts

    The Telegraph reports that there are different opinions as to how schools should approach the threat of radicalisation and whether promoting British Values is the answer. Sir Michael Wilshaw, chief inspector of schools, is reported to have said that he is currently inspecting how schools promote British Values and will go as far as failing […]

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  • the danger of denial - school accountability for CSE

    Katie Michelon

    Failings around the prevention of child sexual exploitation (CSE) have been highlighted again in the news this week. A Freedom of Information request has unveiled that police and council officials did not take any action despite receiving written evidence that CSE was occurring in Rotherham and Sheffield. Eradication of this “culture of denial” forms part […]

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  • 488 children abused or ‘at risk’ of CSE in the West Midlands

    Daniel Goddard

    A project investigating the extent of sexual exploitation in the West Midlands has concluded that 488 children suffered, or were ‘at risk’ of, sexual exploitation (CSE) in the first six months of 2014. However, it is felt that this number is potentially “a significant underestimate.” The report, led by Stephen Rimmer, found that nearly one […]

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  • Ofsted report highlights pressure on child protection system

    Richard Hughes

    Children’s services are “creaking under the strain” according to David Simmonds, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board. His comments come in response to Ofsted’s Second Annual Social Care Report. The report found that only 10 of 43 children’s services inspected were providing good quality care. Of the remaining 33, 7 […]

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  • disqualification confusion grows

    Dai Durbridge

    Following BBC Radio 5 live leading with this story last night, the BBC has now reported on the continuing confusion caused in primary schools as a result of the new disqualification rules. Setting aside the question of whether this law should apply to schools at all, the main challenge for primary schools is understanding exactly who is […]

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  • counter-terrorism bill “a step too far”

    Victoria McIntosh

    The Church of England’s Chief Education Officer has joined the array of critics of the Home Secretary’s new counter-terrorism bill which was unveiled on Wednesday. If the bill becomes law, schools will have a legal duty to prevent people, including its students, from being drawn into terrorism. As Ofsted are widely expected to be the […]

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  • DfE and Ofsted – require improvements?

    Richard Freeth

    A survey of school leaders shows that the majority are dissatisfied with the DfE and Ofsted. The survey set out that over 75% of respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the DfE over its performance in education. This is an increase from the same question posed in 2010. Respondents were equally unhappy with Ofsted with over 60% […]

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  • Ofsted failing on safeguarding?

    Dai Durbridge

    You know there must be concerns with Ofsted’s approach to safeguarding when heads, such as Gareth Dawkins, are critical of Ofsted for not being more robust when inspecting safeguarding in schools. I agree with Gareth. Our education clients tell us that when it comes to safeguarding, inspectors focus unduly on checking that the single central […]

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  • teachers' mental health – should we be worried?

    Dominic Buckley

    A recent poll has shown that over half (55%) of school staff feel that their job has a negative impact on their mental health – causing symptoms of stress, exhaustion and sleep deprivation. Large amounts of unpaid overtime, intense pressure to cope with Ofsted requirements and the perceived stigma attached to mental health issues all are […]

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  • give 'Requires Improvement' schools a chance

    Katie Michelon

    Ofsted is offering new head teachers in schools ‘Requiring Improvement‘ (RI) more time to improve their school’s performance. This follows concerns that quality head teachers are reluctant to join RI schools knowing that Ofsted could come knocking for a section 5 inspection in less than two years in addition to numerous monitoring visits. While Ofsted […]

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  • are lesson observations a lottery?

    Richard Freeth

    A report by the think-tank Policy Exchange has suggested lesson observations undertaken as part of an Ofsted inspection are not a valid or reliable way of assessing teacher performance and is recommending that Ofsted inspections should be focussed on data. The report also criticises the level of outsourcing by Ofsted to independent companies to undertake […]

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  • Gove v Wilshaw – Round 2?

    Jamie Otter

    Whilst Policy Exchange is today calling for evolution rather than revolution in the way schools in England are inspected, their recommendations do contain some controversial elements. The think-tank’s main recommendation for a two tier form of inspection (with lighter, more regular inspections and less emphasis on examining teaching methods) will generally garner much support, particularly […]

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  • dress code and policy

    Debbie Stanley

    Ofsted are now focussing on making sure teachers are smartly dressed. So what should we be doing to manage this? The Teacher Standards expect teachers to act as positive role models and to lead by example and it is the role of school leaders to determine what this means in practice in your school. Don’t […]

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  • will FGM guidance be enough?

    Laura Richards

    It appears that Mr Gove has listened to the concerns about FGM and the role schools can play in tackling the issue. He has agreed to contact schools to highlight their duties in this area. ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ is expected by Easter and is set to include guidance on FGM. Although we will […]

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  • what does 2014 hold in store for UTCs?

    Hayley Roberts

    The Telegraph reports that the Duke of York is enthusiastic about the ‘UTC movement’ after opening a new University Technical College in Reading. However, only a few months ago it was revealed there is insufficient demand for UTC places. Should the programme expand rapidly over the next few years without waiting for the level of […]

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  • new FGM inquiry highlights key safeguarding issue for schools

    Katie Michelon

    An inquiry launched to examine the lack of prosecutions for female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK is expected to review the legal framework and consider how agencies, including the police , health and education sectors, share information regarding FGM cases. With an estimated 24,000 girls identified as at risk, FGM is an important safeguarding […]

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  • Ofsted plans surprise visits

    Hayley Roberts

    For most, the word ‘surprise’ brings to mind positive connotations, particularly at this time of year with the Christmas period fast approaching. However, the latest announcement that there will be ‘surprise’ Ofsted visits to schools in parts of the country that are ‘rife with poor behaviour’ is unlikely to spread much cheer amongst the leadership […]

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  • DFE going cool on UTCs?

    Jamie Otter

    The Daily Telegraph has reported that DfE is to delay the creation of dozens of University Technical Colleges (UTCs) because of concerns over their popularity with parents and poor ratings from Ofsted inspectors. UTCs are state schools run by charities, businesses and universities free of local council control. 17 UTCs have been set up to […]

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  • select committee join Ofsted posse in sponsor inspection standoff

    Jamie Otter

    The Education Select Committee have weighed into the ongoing debate between the DfE and Ofsted on whether organisations which sponsor academies should be inspected. Whilst Ofsted currently have the power to inspect the schools within an academy chain, there is no power to inspect the sponsor itself. The power to appoint and regulate academy sponsors […]

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